Steven Sinofsky, who removed Windows 8 Start Menu, reacts to ads in Windows 11

Former Windows 8 Head comments on ads in Windows 11 Start Menu

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Microsoft is currently testing a controversial feature in the Windows 11 beta channel: advertisements within the Start Menu. This feature is currently limited to users in the United States. Ex Windows Division President, who played a crucial role in Windows 8 by removing the Start menu, has something to say on topic.

When you buy and use Windows 11, Microsoft uses it to show ads in different places, like the Start Menu. They’ve put in sponsored suggestions and games like Candy Crush before and also advertised Microsoft 365 on the lock screen. Now, they’re testing showing app suggestions in the Start Menu for people using the beta version of Windows 11.

People aren’t happy about this, including those who use Windows and those who used to work at Microsoft. Even a former Windows boss, Steven Sinofsky, who made the big change to Windows 8 (remember the one without the Start Menu?), spoke up!

In case you don’t know, back on October 26, 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8, a blend of desktop and tablet operating systems. The then-Windows Division President, Steven Sinofsky, along with his team, introduced a new Start screen with live tiles, controversially removing the traditional Start Menu available from Windows 95.

Sinofsky recently reacted to the news on X (formerly Twitter) and said, he removed the Start Menu because of this reason.

This is why Sinofsky got rid of the start menu.

Synofsky further says Windows 8 was better than Windows 7 in many ways, but people cared about the Start Menu, and that affected the direction of Windows.

Windows 8 was better than Windows 7 in every metric Windows 7 was better than Windows Vista, except the feelings about the start menu. Now we can see how little that mattered and how much unwinding that cost.

With Windows 11 now testing ads in the Start Menu, Sinofsky’s comments show how tricky it is to balance new features and keeping users happy. Adding ads could make money and add features, but it might upset users who want a clean, ad-free experience. What happens with this test and what users say will decide if this ad feature stays or goes based on how it fits with the future of Windows.

This isn’t the only recent controversy surrounding Windows 11. It has been reported that the latest Windows 11 beta build also features Copilot automatically starting upon launch. Microsoft has yet to acknowledge this and confirm whether it is a bug, an oversight that was addressed in the Dev and Canary insider builds.

More about the topics: microsoft, Start Menu, Windows 11, windows 8